#685

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Re: #685

Postby MadCat on Tue May 10, 2011 8:32 pm

bethzania wrote:
fireraven wrote:Don't as don't tell, on the other hand, would have some legitimacy if the majority of US soldiers did't want homosexuals fighting along side them.

Out of curiosity, why?


Yeah, sorry, I don't see DADT as having any legitimacy whatsoever. Many soldiers didn't want soldiers 'of color' to be integrated into their units in the past, but it happened. Equality and fairness (and honesty) aren't privileges of the majority.
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Re: #685

Postby Panda S. H. on Wed May 11, 2011 2:54 pm

Actually. There is legitimacy, but not in the common way.

The core of training is to create a bond between a unit so that they can literally trust each other with their lives. Stupid prejudices that assume that a gay man will want to fuck every available (or not so available) male will make some straight soldiers become distrusting of his battle buddy. Not good. ((Slightly similar premise with the argument against women in the military.))

That said, I just want to clarify. DADT had good intentions, but in the end only encouraged the hate and fear mongering against the non-mainstream sexualities. Because of it's failing, not it's intention, it had to go--and needs to remain gone. Training should include some form of communication session to address the issues and if the soldier can't trust his battle, he needs to GTFO not the other way around.
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Re: #685

Postby MadCat on Wed May 11, 2011 8:40 pm

Except for a few things:

1) the same argument was made against 'colored' soldiers decades ago, and against female soldiers today; both times, it's been struck down as unfair, discriminatory and unnecessary - same as in this case. It's based on ridiculous, untrue, prejudiced thinking -- this is not 'legitimate'.

2) soldiers have been fighting alongside gay soldiers for as long as the military has existed, and most of the time they don't care if someone is gay - they're too busy fighting for their lives and working together.

DADT would only have worked as designed if they stuck to the 'Don't Ask' part of it, instead of continuing to seek out gay soldiers and investigate them, even if the soldier had stuck to the 'Don't Tell' part of it.

Problem is, "Don't Tell" is itself a flawed premise. The military teaches its soldiers to follow a code of conduct that includes honesty and integrity -- then DADT turns around and asks them to systematically lie to everyone around them; as well as adding the stress of living that lie and censoring every behavior every day to prevent discovery, when the soldier is already stressed enough dealing with, you know, fighting for their lives and such.

It's unnecessary and unfair, all of it, and based on flawed thinking that attempts to 'legitimize' prejudice and small-mindedness with no basis in fact.
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Re: #685

Postby Panda S. H. on Thu May 12, 2011 3:34 pm

1) When did I say that DADT wasn't unfair, discriminatory or unnecessary? I'm not arguing that fact.

2) Some soldiers do care. I've met them. I personally hate them, but respect their job at the same time. It's a colluded idea that they have, but if they can't trust a gay soldier, working together is difficult.

Again, as clarification: Not everyone that passed this bit of legislation was thinking that it would oppress the gay community--rather that it would allow them to work in safety with other soldiers. Obviously, it wasn't well thought out--but that doesn't mean that every "Yea" vote had ill intentions.

The precise reason why I refuse to apply for any military position is that I know so many people with these feelings towards alternate lifestyles that wouldn't think twice about inflicting harm just because of the fact. Not every one is like this, and yeah, it does make me the frightened one, but I'm not going to trust one of those soldiers so I don't want to make the mistake of trying to work with them.
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Re: #685

Postby MadCat on Thu May 12, 2011 11:43 pm

I think I was just unable to agree with the use of the word "legitimate", was where I was coming from with the last post. So it might be that we're coming from different angles in regards to the terminology. Let me try to explain what I was thinking:

Legitimate suggests to me that it's the proper/correct thing to do in some way. I don't really agree with that. Saying "Let's all agree to pretend gay people don't exist" really isn't as healthy for a society as saying "Let's all agree that prejudice is wrong, and teach everyone how to accept each other and get rid of outdated, small-minded thinking."

DADT was a compromise, (and I agree, some of those voting for it likely had good intentions, presumably as a stopgap measure) to try and assuage the fears of those who (whether enlisted themselves or not) believe soldiers can't work alongside gay soldiers... the same kind of small-minded people who couldn't work alongside women or people who weren't WASPs. While I'm glad that DADT did allow gay service members to serve with reduced fear of assault, living in the closet isn't really a very healthy way to live in many cases. It's placing all the stress and fear on the gay soldier, telling them, "you need to hide and lie, because there's something 'wrong' with you" when the burden should really be on everyone else: "you need to learn, because there's something wrong with your prejudices."

All the prejudice and bigotry in place is why I was angry at the military for a very long time. I still respected the soldiers who were fighting to protect people, and risking their lives doing so. But I couldn't accept the institution's bigotry, and couldn't really respect 'the military' as a whole for that reason. The DADT policy really didn't seem like much of a fix to me, honestly, for the reason I mentioned above. (Especially considering they never kept to the "don't ask" part of it very well.) Knowing now that they're attempting to fix the situation, and that many soldiers and high-ranking officials are on-board with doing so, makes me feel a little better about the institution now.
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Re: #685

Postby Jayleia on Fri May 13, 2011 5:37 am

The whole "the troops don't want that" whine sounds idiotic and seems disturbing to me because it turns the normal hierarchical control of the military on its head. ITS NOT A FUCKING DEMOCRACY!

A guy in a suit tells a guy with stars on his shoulder "You will take colored people into combat units"
Guy with stars "But the troops don't want that"
Suit "That was not a request, do it or find someone that will"
Stars "Sir, yes sir."
Guy with stars to guy with stripes on his shoulder "You will fit them into your unit"
Guy with stripes "But we don't want that!"
Stars "Court martial with a side of whine for dinner?"
Stripes "No, sir, will-do, sir"

Maybe I'm weird, but if I were a soldier, I wouldn't care why someone was covering my butt, just as long as its covered. OK, I am weird, but...really, this makes no sense. Especially if you knew anything about historical navies "Naval tradition is nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash", or even historical armies like the Sacred Band of Thebes.
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Re: #685

Postby fireraven on Fri May 13, 2011 10:22 am

bethzania wrote:
fireraven wrote:Don't as don't tell, on the other hand, would have some legitimacy if the majority of US soldiers did't want homosexuals fighting along side them.

Out of curiosity, why?

Alright, I'll be frank and please note personally I'm against segregation of any kind.

Here's the way it works though if the vast majority of soldiers were homophobic then we'd have panicking soldiers all over the battle field, or a massive amount of gays slain by the homophobes. Or at least that's what I would see happening considering various hardcore Christian sects in the army already bully, degrade, and have been known to steal religious items from fellow soldiers to burn them because the owner isn't Christian and they don't want non-Christians in their "Army of God."

However, I don't see the vast majority of them being homophobic. I think currently the homophobes are a minority, and some of them might even be swayed to play nice by the idea of getting more time away from the battle field.
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Re: #685

Postby MadCat on Fri May 13, 2011 8:40 pm

fireraven wrote:various hardcore Christian sects in the army already bully, degrade, and have been known to steal religious items from fellow soldiers to burn them because the owner isn't Christian and they don't want non-Christians in their "Army of God."


Okay, that's just sick. Shit like that is the reason I tend to have trouble with organized religions in general, and religious fanatics in particular... because there are so many people out there who use their religion as an excuse to act like assholes. Admittedly, I know it's not fair of me to take it out on every religion everywhere, and I try not to be an asshole about it myself nowadays. It's just frustrating to see it used as justification for so many horrific acts around the world, while at the same time claiming that being a member of their-particular-religion is a prerequisite for being a 'good person'... rrgh. Religion does not have an absolute claim on morality. ><

Sorry, I'm at risk of derailing the conversation here, but I just had to grr about that. It's sort of the same thing, though: People hating other people because they have attribute X instead of attribute Y, and being jerks because of it. In my opinion they should instead be learning to accept people's attributes even if they aren't the same, and celebrate their common humanity instead of degrading them for being different. I think the world would be a much nicer place then.

Back on track, though: yes -- hateful people will hate other people for whatever attribute they see as 'inferior' to themselves: whether it's their religion, their color, their nationality, or their sexual orientation. People shouldn't have to hide the latter any more than any of the former; it's a foundational part of a person's identity. Instead, the hateful people should be educated, informed that their prejudices are not acceptable (like Jayleia said, from the top brass on down), and harshly punished if they still take harmful action against another person.
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Re: #685

Postby trebuchet on Sun May 15, 2011 11:02 pm

Wow, this topic went WAY off course. Good to see that a simple thing like a comic strip can inspire such heated debate.

Here are some statistics from a book written by Helen Benedict called The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq:

1) Department of Defense reports show that nearly 90 percent of rape victims in the Army are junior-ranking women, whose average age is 21, while most of the assailants are non-commissioned officers or junior men, whose average age is 28.

2) Even with a force that is now 14 percent female, and with rules that prohibit drill instructors from using racial epithets and curses, those same instructors still routinely denigrate recruits by calling them “pussy,” “girl,” “bitch,” “lady” and “dyke.”

3) In 2003, a survey of female veterans from Vietnam through the first Gulf War by psychologist Anne Sadler and her colleagues, published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, found that 30 percent said they were raped in the military.

4) Defense Department numbers are much lower. In Fiscal Year 2007, the Pentagon reported 2,085 sexual assaults among military women, which given that there are about 200,000 active-duty women in the armed forces, is a mere fraction of what the veterans studies indicate. The discrepancy can be explained by the fact that the Pentagon counts only those rapes that soldiers have officially reported.

There is a culture of rape in the U.S. Military. It stems from systematized misogyny during training and is kept alive by the fraternity-mentality of officers and non-comms. As much as I would love to see women flourish in every part of our society (i.e. law enforcement, emergency services, business, etc.) our military has a long standing tradition of violence towards women. This is a sad truth. I believe that it is wrong and that it needs to change, but I don't think anything will change by standing on the proverbial soapbox and preaching for things to change.

The issue is not that violent behavior toward a fellow squad-mate is wrong (stemming from misogyny, homophobia, religious intolerance, etc.) because the majority of us believe that it is, in fact, wrong. The issue is how to change the existing negative culture into a positive one.

1) The military needs to do a better job of investigating and prosecuting violence in the workplace. If no one is getting caught for being bad, then perps will be more inclined to continue their activities and victims will be less inclined to report them.

2) Military trainers need to be held to a higher standard of moral excellence. Degrading someone as a "fag" or "girl" for poor performance only encourages the soldier to automatically think of homosexuals and women as an inferior life-form that must be purged or dominated.

3) (this one is the hardest and will never ever happen in a million years) Our civilian representatives need to be more diligent in pursuing oversight of our military and to seeing justice served - from the highest ranking member of the Joint Chiefs to the newest recruit fresh out of boot camp. When no one is immune and everyone is being held accountable you will see things happen.
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Re: #685

Postby Jayleia on Mon May 16, 2011 11:29 am

MadCat wrote:Back on track, though: yes -- hateful people will hate other people for whatever attribute they see as 'inferior' to themselves: whether it's their religion, their color, their nationality, or their sexual orientation. People shouldn't have to hide the latter any more than any of the former; it's a foundational part of a person's identity. Instead, the hateful people should be educated, informed that their prejudices are not acceptable (like Jayleia said, from the top brass on down), and harshly punished if they still take harmful action against another person.


For me, I completely agree with you, yet, at the same time homo/transphobia, misogyny, racism and religious dickishness actually seems to be the SMALLER problem to me, than the military seeming to think that they should dictate policy to their civilian bosses.

One is just people being assholes (assholes that have horrid effects on their victims, though), the other can take all of us on a very dark and scary road.
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